Portsmouth-based HMS Diamond tracks Russian spy ship

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A NAVAL warship based in Portsmouth is shadowing a Russian Navy spy ship as she passes through the English Channel.

Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond has been monitoring he Russian underwater reconnaissance ship Yantar as it approached the UK’s area of interest.

Russian ship Yantar transiting through the English Channel With Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond. ''Picture: LPhot Dan Rosenbaum

Russian ship Yantar transiting through the English Channel With Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond. ''Picture: LPhot Dan Rosenbaum

HMS Diamond met up with Yantar at 9am today and will continue to monitor the vessel’s movements and activities as it continues north, the navy said.

Commander Ben Keith, the commanding officer of HMS Diamond, said: ‘HMS Diamond is proud to be doing her part to protect the UK area of interest by monitoring the Russian vessel Yantar on her transit.

‘This is routine business for the Royal Navy, and my ship’s company are well-trained and ready at short notice to deploy for such tasking.’

HMS Diamond left Portsmouth on Wednesday evening to meet the Russian vessel, taking over from a French navy ship which had monitored her progress through the Bay of Biscay.

As a high-readiness unit, HMS Diamond may be called upon at any time to help prevent arms trafficking, people smuggling, conduct counter-terrorism operations, maritime search and rescue, or escort duties.